Leika – The “Amboy Shepherd” Survivor

Given Leika's background, it's amazing that she has become such an amazing, loving, and well-trained, obedient dog.

In 2004, 191 dogs were found in life threatening conditions on a property in Amboy Illinois contained in row-after-row of cages, two to a cage. Nine dogs were found dead, emaciated, had worms and no evidence of food in the stomach - only sand and dirt.  

When these dogs were rescued, the stench was unbearable.....all the dogs were coated in filth, all were emaciated with sunken eyes and their ribs and hipbones were visible. The strangest thing was the silence......not one barked.....they were too weak to care.

The rescuers involved with rescuing these dogs fought back the tears as they went to work saving these survivors from a living hell using oxygen tents, incubators, and IV lines to help these dogs recover.

Leika, one of the surviving "Amboy Shephards", was a bit timid when my wife and I first met her.  Understandably so!  Still, her beautiful sable color and pleasant disposition caused me to want to take her home right away.  However, in an unusual and uncommon adopting circumstance, another interested adopter was there at the same time and also wanted her.  We ended up having to actually flip a coin!  How awful!  So, I “won” Leika with...tails.  

Since then, I continue to be impressed with how smart and trainable she is.  She’s so responsive to commands, she can be in full chase after a squirrel, and when I say “Stop”, she stops in her tracks.  Even so, she knows not to go into the streets.  Should the same squirrel run into and across the street, Leika will come to a screeching halt at the curb without being told!   She will not enter a street until I give the command, “Yes, OK”.  It’s so cool…it’s like having a remote control dog!

Leika is so much fun to watch sprint and jump after the tennis balls I throw her on our daily walks.  She especially likes the snow, and always makes me laugh with her antics in trying to find the tennis balls that get lost in the deep snow.  She’s such a joy!

As happy, smart, and obedient that she is, you would have never guessed that she only narrowly escaped a cruel and heart-breaking life beginning.  Whether she’s grateful for where she is today compared to what she had known or whether it’s just a faded memory, her personality and temperament is as if it had never happened, and for that, I’m very grateful.